I had a great afternoon at the Village Green on Sunday, firstly listening to Gradual, a very tight band who mix up their music styles. They then acted as Cathy Dobson's band as she launched her new album Tales from a Suburban Housewife, which is just magnificent. I did a review of the gig and Cathy's album on CountryAs. We took this selfie of some of Victoria's finest songwriters and their fans (including myself) and we named ourselves Cathy's Clowns. The music was terrific and the crowd was great. Cathy is a much respected and loved singer/songwriter.
I also reviewed Brendan Smoother's new album, In the Meantime, and it is a bottler too. Cathy is a retired teacher and Brendan is an active paramedic. Like a lot of Indie artists, they have to have 'a real job' to keep their music dreams going. These two are two of our best singer/songwriters. If you want to read more about them, check out my reviews on CountryAs and listen to their music on Youtube and all of the good on line resources as well as ordering their music from their websites.
Both of these songwriters are very much social commentators and their songs very in pace and depth. No matter where in the world you are, you will be able to relate to a lot of the lyrics of these two fine artists.
Country Rocks the Black Dog on 17 June in Melbourne. I am not sure if this is just an Australian term or an international term, but this will be a very special afternoon to help raise funds for the charities that are trying to help folks with depression. There are many people who have the 'black dog' in their lives and some beat it and sometimes the black dog beats them. Our friend and fine musician was a victim of the black dog. We hope not to just raise funds but awareness and let us help those who need a hand.
This weekend, locally, one of the artists that 'saved' country music in many ways in Australia and who started a whole new wave of music, James Blundell will be appearing locally with Andrew Swift, who is one of our best Indie Artists. I hope to get to the gig to see them.
There are lots of gigs coming up and lots of new releases. I can't wait to hear them!
Have a beaut week, everybody.
I had a gig free weekend last weekend, but I did do lots of reviews of gigs that I have been to lately and a few album reviews.
Allan Caswell, Australia's most prolific country music songwriter and one of our National Treasures, released his new album, Mexico, which I mentioned briefly last week. He co-wrote and performed many of the tracks with a lot of Victorians, like Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, (with one of the Wildes, Damian, co-producing it), The Weeping Willows, and Queenslander from Vegas, Jen Mize joining in on the fun. It is called Mexico, because Victoria is South of the Border, from New South Wales. Melbourne was recently voted best LIVE music city in the WORLD. From my short time of living down here, I can tell you that it pretty much is that. It is a great album, full of songs that make you think, want to drink Tequila and just sing or hum along. Probably one of the best Caswell albums ever, and that is a big call.
Allan Caswell - Drunks Like Charlie
I also reviewed the album by The Heggarties. If you like a bit of bluegrass, folk and a bit of blues, then this country album is one for you. The South Australian band delivers an interesting mix of styles. I went to see them a couple of weeks ago. It is definitely worth some spins. Both of these reviews are on CountryAs.
This weekend, I am going to Cathy Dobson's launch. Cathy has been a great supporter of my scribblings and she is one of our most underrated singer/songwriters. Cathy is a much admired and appreciated songwriter by other musicians. She has written for lots of other artists and she has won lots of awards for her songwriting in Indie circles. Her new album has been long awaited. It is called Tales from a Suburban Housewife. It doesn't get more Blues and Roots than that! I will let you know how the album and launch goes next week.
Cathy Dobson Ball and Chain
Cathy Dobson Hurricane Child (Set the Stage)
Allison Forbes is currently touring with her Medicine Shows with special guests. Allison is one of our most unique artists. She is a Tamworth girl, so that makes her even more special to me. She has the most amazing voice and she is one of our most underrated songwriters. Allison started these Alt. Country/Americana gigs at Tamworth a few years ago and now she is taking them to the streets and country roads of Australia. I will be seeing her in July at Hats Off in Tamworth and also when she comes down to Melbourne with fellow Tamworth gal, Sally-Anne Whitten. Allison turns 40 in July so that will be a beaut Birthday Bash gig to go to in Tamworth. Jen Mize also turned 40 this week.
Allison Forbes - Pirate's Life for Me
Allison Forbes - Gone
I briefly mentioned a few weeks ago that Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Imogen Clark and The Weeping Willows are going on a pretty huge tour overseas. I have included details here of the tour. If my overseas friends see that they are in your neighbourhood, please go and see them. Your ears will thank you for it.
It seems to be the time of the year for mini tours and for folks to go into the studio. It is getting a bit chillier in Australia, with Winter just around the corner, so I guess it is a good time to be inside, putting down some tunes. There are lots of cozy House Concerts going on too, looking forward to Lloyd Clarke and Michael Waugh and The Weeping Willows have something speccy planned with other Melbourne musos next month. Lots of other stuff in between.
Michael Waugh - Footy Trip
The next month will be featuring a few gigs, which I am looking forward to going to. I will have to get a diary so that I don't miss any of them! Here are some of the artists that I have mentioned and ones that I will be seeing soon.
This week's Down Under Beats is tinged with a bit of sadness. We lost a very special man in our musical family this week in Tom Fauvette, who played guitar like he was ringing a bell, and he was a part of lots of bands, including The Rick Hart Trio which I have featured on here many times and The Sweet Addictions which also features Rick Hart. We lost him way too young and he leaves behind a young family and many people who loved him. I had the pleasure of hearing him play, chatting with him and sharing all too few but special moments. We shall miss you Tom. He was just hitting his straps, musically and he had a big future. Life can be cruel. Patsy Toop lost her Dad on Saturday, shortly before I was to interview her and David from The Long and Short of It. He had a good innings, as we say in Australia (a cricket reference) but sometimes the longer that you have someone around, the harder it is to lose them. Craig Stewart, one of our finest singer/songwriters, lost his grandfather this week, as well. He was an amazing man. So, my love goes out to all of these folks and their families.
The Long and Short of It Jesus Money
Rick Hart and The Sweet Addictions
Craig Stewart Keep The Flame For Me
On a brighter note, I did do the interview with David Baird, the other half of The Long and Short of It at their amazing Cafe/Studio/Function Centre, Mantra at Yarraville in Melbourne. The full interview is on my blog, CountryAs, but it is and was an incredibly brave and massive venture that the talented duo have embarked upon. We had brunch and talked about their music as well as the Mantra. They have gigs there, the waiters are all musos or artists and they are setting up a studio so that Indies can record there. Thanks to David for doing the interview considering the sadness that effected them both that morning. Please take a look at the interview.
I then went to see my favourite Country Music Band, The April Family, who came down from Sydney to The Retreat Hotel in Brunswick to play with other Americana acts Matt J Ward (who was new to me but is awesome) and The Heggarties (both from South Australia). They were all wonderful. I love hanging with The April Family and it was good to see some other live acts that are new to me as well. I will be reviewing The Heggarties album on CountryAs this week and the review is up of the gig.
Matt J Ward
The April Family
I also reviewed Brad Cox's debut album this week. This young man has a huge future. He won the Toyota Starmaker Award at Tamworth this year, which has been won (and lost) by many great artists over the years. He is only 23 and he has so much talent. A young man really worth watching and listening to of course!
Brad Cox - Lake House
From one of our newest and youngest stars to one of our legends, Allan Caswell, or Sir Allan as a lot of us call him. He is releasing his new album "Mexico" later in the week. In Australia, Victoria is given this nickname because it is south of the NSW border! Allan recorded this album with many of our finest in Victoria and Jen Mize from Queensland via Vegas. I have been lucky enough to have a sneak preview and it is just brilliant. I will be talking more about that next week.
It has been a full week in and out of music and work this week. It is Mother's Day in Australia on Sunday, here's one for the ladies from one of our legends, Troy Cassar Daley
Troy Cassar Daley The Ladies in My Life
Reviewed two great albums this last week, Imogen Clark's Collide and Kasey Chambers' Campfire....both different albums but very, very, good....check them out on CountryAs.
I went to see Gretta Ziller and Mitch Power at The Union Hotel in Brunswick for a free and awesome gig. Great crowd who really got behind the music. Lots of new fans for the Zillermeister.
Off to see my favourite Aussie Country Band from Sydney, The April Family on Saturday and I also have a bit of an exclusive happening on Saturday with one of my fave duos.
New album from Sami Cooke to be reviewed shortly and some other beaut music coming up. Festivals just about every weekend all over the country but you can't go to everything.
Check out some beaut videos here:
The April Family
Lots of awesome music to be released in the next few weeks and I am going to some cool gigs. Watch this space. The Aussies will blow you away!
It was ANZAC Day in Australia yesterday, which is probably one of our most important days of the year in Australia. It commemorates the history of Australian and New Zealand defence forces in war and peace. This year is the 100th year, so it was probably one of the most historical. Country music artists in this country and many folk artists have written songs about our involvement in all wars since this time. I made a list of what I would play yesterday and I could fill about 10 radio shows. I guess songs about war have all the characteristics of a good country song - they are story songs, about mates, hardship, love, and conflict. They have repercussions and they don't always have conclusions. They are very emotive and they stick with you.
I am going to include some of these songs in the post today, it may help others from other countries around the world to understand and to also appreciate some of our fine storytellers and songwriter.
I reviewed two American cds this week but the best is yet to come in the next week with lots of Aussie releases. I will keep you posted. I have been busy at work so there haven't been many gigs on for me but that will change in May with lots of stuff to see and hear. Stay tuned. In the meantime, here are some special songs for ANZAC Day. The day is not a day to celebrate war. It is a day to remember fallen mates and to reflect.
Brendon Walmsley Bottle Tree Lane
Luke O'Shea and The Medicine Wheel - Ragged Bloody Heroes
Beccy Cole - Poster Girl
Dianna Corcoran - Come Back Home
Postcards from Saigon - James Blundell
The War to End All Wars - Darren Coggan
Have a good week everybody, and lest we forget.
Sorry that I skipped a week, but things have been busy! Went to a big gig on Friday night in Melbourne at The Spotted Mallard. I have reviewed it in full on my blog "CountryAs". It was a nostalgic journey with old cowboy tunes and traditional songs with some of our very best. Jen and Mark headed up a great band.
I have been busy writing new album reviews.....six in fact! There are another six on their way. Aussies are producing so many wonderful songs at the moment. It is really a boom time for Aussie country music. Melbourne was actually named LIVE music cap of the world in the last week.
One of the new albums is the debut album from Victorian group Kingsford Smith. There is not much available on them at the moment, but I have a feeling that they are going to be pretty big. Their album is a bunch of original songs in various country styles. It is very good, especially for a first album.
The reviews are a mixture of well known Aussie country music artists and some up and comers. In the next few weeks, I will be reviewing new releases from John Flanagan, Kasey Chambers, Imogen Clark, and many more....I hopefully will be going to see Christie Lamb on Saturday night and there are lots of other artists performing in Victoria in the near future.
Please check out the album reviews on CountryAs and my review of Twilight On The Trail - The Concert.
Look out for more exciting new acts soon as well as some releases from some more well known Australians.
I hope that y'all had a great Easter....I didn't eat too much chocolate but there was some sweet music to savour. The Retreat Hotel gig was awesome. Bill Jackson was someone who I hadn't heard before and he was fantastic. It was good to hear Paddy McHugh in good form, winning some new fans. Old favourites Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, Imogen Clark and The Weeping Willows were all awesome as usual.
Allan Caswell and The Weeping Willows released a new single this week, The Roses Fall. This will be on the Mexico album which I am looking forward to. The Weeping Willows also sang a great duet before with Allan, Golden Days.
Jen Mize and Mark Sholtez released their tribute to the old west album, Twilight on The Trail with some absolute classic hits. I will be seeing them on 13th April in Melbourne when they will perform these songs with some beaut guests.
The Byron Bay Bluesfest went off well from all reports, with a stellar line up of local acts and overseas ones.
I am working this weekend, but will be back down to Melbourne next weekend, to see Jen and Mark. Also, there are lots of other great gigs on the next few weeks, locally and in Melbourne. I hope to get to a few.
Have a good one all....some cool reviews and gigs and new albums are coming up.
G'day Folks and Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!
Always a big weekend musicwise in Australia, lots of festivals because of the 4 day break for most people and this time it also blends in with school holidays in most states. I have put some pictures down below. I am going to the Melbourne one as I have mentioned in previous posts. An amazing line up with the likes of Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes, The Weeping Willows, Paddy McHugh and Imogen Clark amongst others. There will probably be as many stars in the crowd as there are on stage. It is a free gig. The big one is the Byron Bay Bluesfest, which happens every year in the beautiful NSW coastal haven. For those who don't know Byron Bay overseas, people like Olivia Newton-John, John Cornell (Strop) (who produced a lot of Paul Hogan's stuff) and Paul Hogan himself have lived there amongst others. It has a huge line up of stars from Australia and overseas. Billy and Bec Bridge (Rebecca Lee Nye) have their own Queensland big gig on the weekend as well.There are lots of other festivals on as well, but they are a few highlights. Canberra is having a Folk Festival on as well, which sounds good.
Melinda Schneider released a new single on Itunes this week. With all of the news about women's rights at the moment, her new music is very powerful and poignant.
A few new singles out this week, with new albums coming up soon.
There are lots of gigs in April - between work and concerts, I am going to be busy! New albums and tours from Jen Mize, Imogen Clark, Chalkie White and others are on the way, even our veteran, Allan Caswell has a newby coming up. There will be a lot to report on in the next few months!
Amber Joy Poulton
Sad news with my favourite venue in Sydney, The Basement closing down to make way for offices. There is a petition going on at the moment, so hopefully things reverse their decision. I have spent many nights there listening to country, blues, folk and jazz. It would be sad to see it go.
More soon.....turn up your radios and stereos and let it rip!
G'day Music Lovers,
Michael Waugh officially launches his new album this week, though I did go to to my local pub a few weeks ago to see and hear him. I have reviewed his album on CountryAs, it is a beauty. His launch is on Friday night in Melbourne with The Weeping Willows. I would love to be there but I wouldn't be able to get there in time from work. I am sure that there will be a bumper crowd there.
I will be going down to Melbourne the following weekend (Easter) to see quite a few bands and artists at The Retreat Hotel.
Melinda Schneider is working on a new album of original songs, a first for a while after mainly releasing her "Doris" albums over the last few years. I think that we are in for a powerful album.
Andrew Swift is still riding high on the charts with his new album and is embarking on quite a big tour, including a gig on Sunday with Gretta Ziller.
There have been so many festivals lately that it is hard to keep up with them all. The big one is at Easter up in Byron Bay - the Blues and Roots Festival which attracts both overseas artists and our own local musicians. There are country festivals in every valley and on every mountain at the moment.
There are lots of albums for release soon and lots of teaser singles. From Veterans like Rex Dallas, who is up for a new release, to young artists like 15 and 16 year olds, we are covering all ages and styles.
It is almost Sydney Royal Easter Show time again, Australia's most famous and biggest agricultural show. Dan Murphy, Tara Favell and Ben Ransom will appear doing gigs at the show's Woodchop Bar.
I will have lots to report on over the next few weeks.
Turn up your radio or stereo loud and enjoy the music.
I have had a busy weekend! Friday night in Melbourne saw the Americana Express on track with Matt Joe Gow, Lachlan Bryan sans The Wildes, The Weeping Willows and Gretta Ziller. It was a great show with each of the acts appearing on each others spots. The music was top notch as usual from some of Victoria's finest.
Lachlan announced that with the Wildes, The Weeping Willows and probably a few other friends, they will be off to Europe in a few months time to do a tour. That is something for my English and European friends to look out for, as they hit London first.
Matt Joe Gow is releasing a new album soon, The Weeping Willows have just returned from their Honeymoon tour in the U.S. and Lachlan has just released a new album. Gretta is still riding high on the success of her Queen of the Boomtown album.
They sang a mixture of their music and a couple of classics as well.
On Saturday night, I headed to the foot of the Dandenong ranges and saw Lyn Bowtell with Rick Hart and it was a lovely evening of song and humour. Lyn's voice is as strong as ever, having had success with her latest EP as well as with the trio, BBU. Caught up with a lot of other music fans and friends and it was a beaut weekend of music. Rick's album is still doing well and he is madly writing songs for his next one.
Working this weekend, so no gigs, but next weekend there is another run on with Michael Waugh's official album launch and lots of other gigs happening. Hope to catch up with The Long and The Short of It and Andrew Swift and Gretta Ziller again. This week sees the CMC Rocks Australia Festival in Queensland This offers up awards as well There are a couple of cool nominations but overall, the nominations are disappointing.
Lots more coming soon!